Author

Ernest Gellner cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Ernest Gellner

Czech anthropologist, philosopher and sociologist

1925   -   1995

movement: critical rationalism
country of citizenship: United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
language of expression: English
educated at: Balliol College, St Albans School
occupation: philosopher, anthropologist, professor, sociologist, political scientist
award received: Fellow of the British Academy

Ernest André Gellner (9 December 1925 – 5 November 1995) was a British-Czech philosopher and social anthropologist described by The Daily Telegraph, when he died, as one of the world's most vigorous intellectuals, and by The Independent as a "one-man crusader for critical rationalism".His first book, Words and Things (1959), prompted a leader in The Times and a month-long correspondence on its letters page over his attack on linguistic philosophy. As the Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics for 22 years, the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge for eight years, and head of the new Centre for the Study of Nationalism in Prague, Gellner fought all his life—in his writing, teaching and political activism—against what he saw as closed systems of thought, particularly communism, psychoanalysis, relativism and the dictatorship of the free market. Among other issues in social thought, modernization theory and nationalism were two of his central themes, his multicultural perspective allowing him to work within the subject-matter of three separate civilizations: Western, Islamic, and Russian. He is considered one of the leading theoreticians on the issue of nationalism.
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